Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Your Accessibility Conscience

5 Reasons Why Bloggers and Web Designers Should Consider Accessibility

Filed under: Blog Accessibility — by Glenda at 9:50 am on Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guest post by Chris Garrett

I have learned a lot about accessibility from Glenda. In particular you should read the excellent free advice contained in her "How POUR is Your Blog" ebook.

Learning from Glenda and other accessibility experts has taught me that some of the changes we can implement are not just the right thing to do, many are really easy and it is only laziness or ignorance on my part that has stopped me doing them.

What I think many bloggers and blog theme designers do not realise though is accessibility is not just about making your blog readable to, say, blind folks. In fact, you should also consider making your site accessible for purely selfish reasons too.

Here are 5 good reasons to make your blog more accessible:

  1. First, the scary reason. In many countries, accessibility is the law. OK, so maybe they are gong to go after the Fortune 500 before us little guys. I don’t know about you but I would rather make my site friendly than risk it.
  2. You are losing customers. There are over 50 million people in USA alone with a disability. These folks are spending money with your competitors because your site is unfriendly.
  3. Accessibility often means more search friendly too. Imagine Google as a blind reader. The bot can not interact with movies, play with your flash, or understand pictures, only how you describe them. Make sense?
  4. People are more and more likely to want to view your content on a non-standard device. Good accessibility means allowing folks to consume your content their way, from screen reader to iPhone, rather than force round pegs into your 1024×768 square holes.
  5. It is good design. Many site owners have found by focusing on content and ease of use rather than bloated widgets, gizmos and images, their accessible sites work faster, are easier to maintain, and provide a better overall experience for ALL their readers and customers.

Really, it just makes sense. It’s not just the right thing to do, it could make you more competitive.

Are you ready to make your site more accessible? What do you think?

Please share your thoughts in the comments …


Chris Garrett is a professional blogger and new media consultant who for nearly 20 years has written about everything from Microsoft Excel through to Travel, but this is the first time he has written about accessibility!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a cafe mocha. Thanks kindly.

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7 Comments »

Comment by Donald Wilcox

October 6, 2009 @ 10:08 am

Good post on accessibility 101, but “accessible” web design doesn’t always translate to “plain.” It is true that most early 2000-era websites and apps failed at merging accessibility and images/typography/content, but it’s completely possible to have a beautiful site with images but still being accessible. I worry that people will interpret accessibility to mean “bland design” because they ignore what power CSS has on websites.

Comment by Ching Ya

October 7, 2009 @ 1:39 am

Accessibility has becoming a new consideration when it comes to designing. I met some customers who wish to have complicated flash to be built upon their introduction page, due to slow loading and unstable ADSL connections we have to explain the consequences so not to annoy their targeted customers (local). I wouldn’t say plain designing to always be first priority, perhaps a smarter application for size optimization/faster loading page will always be a huge requirement.

@wchingya
Social/Blogging Tracker

Comment by Richard - Accessible Web

October 7, 2009 @ 7:51 am

I agree with Donald that accessible doesn’t have to be plain or boring. In fact it is surprising the number of colour combinations of text and background that are allowed under WCAG2.0 (especially if slightly larger font sizes are used).

Comment by Are Morch

October 7, 2009 @ 7:29 pm

Excellent article!

Many of newbies does not consider accessibility. We tend to make our blog very cluttered.

There is no Feng Shui to our blog or design. And then we ask our self why people don’t stay longer then 1 second on our blog.

I discovered that often it is simple things that can make the difference. My biggest mistake in the beginning was that I tended to over complicate things.

Is my design perfect now? NO. But I am taking steps in the right direction. My goal is that it should be simple for my readers to find the quality info they was looking for at my blog.

Cheers.. Are
@Twtrcoach

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